Fighting corruption in development – The ‘development pact’

Why are politicians and administrators the ones to discuss and shape up the development agenda ? This is how Anupama Jha (Transparency International India), one of the GDN Award Finalists for the Most Innovative Development Project, started her presentation today, wondering why a top-down approach is always applied when it comes to addressing development.

It goes without saying that excluding poor from discussions around development and fighting poverty does not help to move forward. According to Anupama, such top-down approach leads to a lack of inclusive development and growth due to an increase of corruption in both political and administrative institutions, and disproportionate access to political and administrative decisions. This in turns results in a lack of trust of the people in their elected political leaders.

Anupama presented an innovative anti-corruption tool aiming to create incentives for political actors to deliver against the development agenda, as well as opportunities for an empowered participation of poor people in shaping up the agenda and enforcing public accountability and transparency.

According to Anupama, corruption always flows from top to down; people are significantly suffering from corruption not only in India, but all over the world. The question is why not getting the poor themselves to set up the development agenda?!

A development pact is a tool in the hands of both political actors and citizens. While citizens are given the opportunity to get involved in shaping up development priorities for their elected leaders, the latter are incited to fight corruption while delivering against their development commitments and accountability towards those who elected them. On the other hand, the tool is also designed to be used by NGOs dedicated to fight corruption and who can in their turn mobilize people around common development goals.

This is why for Anupama, the tool represents a “win-win situation for all actors involved in the governance process.”



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